Status Report

NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 June 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
July 2, 2009
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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 30 June 2009

All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

Progress M-02M/33P successfully undocked from the ISS DC1 nadir port at 2:29pm EDT after hook opening command at 2:27pm. [Lab and JPM (JEM Pressurized Module) science window shutters were closed for protection, and data for structural & dynamic analysis was obtained from the IWIS (Internal Wireless Instrumentation System) and SDMS (Structural Dynamic Measurement System). During departure, FE-3 Romanenko used the Nikon D2X camera with F80-400 mm zoom lens for taking photographs of the 33P docking assembly to verify that no rubber seals are missing on the interface and to assess seal integrity. 33P will free-fly for approximately 12 days and then perform a re-rendezvous test to the SM PkhO (Transfer Compartment) zenith port on 7/12 (Sunday).]

Upon wakeup (~2:00am EDT), FE-1 Barratt, FE-4 Thirsk & FE-5 DeWinne continued their current session of the experiment SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight), logging data from their Actiwatch to the HRF-1 (Human Research Facility 1) laptop as part of a week-long session. [To monitor the crewmember’s sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, the crewmembers wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by them as well as their patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition and use the payload software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment’s laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days.]

Also at wakeup, FE-3 Romanenko terminated his third experiment session for the long-term Russian sleep study MBI-12/SONOKARD, by taking the recording device from his SONOKARD sports shirt pocket and later copying the measurements to the RSE-MED laptop for subsequent downlink to the ground. [SONOKARD objectives are stated to (1) study the feasibility of obtaining the maximum of data through computer processing of records obtained overnight, (2) systematically record the crewmember’s physiological functions during sleep, (3) study the feasibility of obtaining real-time crew health data. Investigators believe that contactless acquisition of cardiorespiratory data over the night period could serve as a basis for developing efficient criteria for evaluating and predicting adaptive capability of human body in long-duration space flight.]

CDR Padalka, Barratt & FE-2 Wakata began their workday before breakfast with the periodic session of the Russian biomedical routine assessments PZEh-MO-7/Calf Volume Measurement and PZEh-MO-8/Body Mass Measurement, using the IM mass measurement device which Padalka then stowed away again. Fourth time for Gennady, Mike & Koichi. [Calf measurements (left leg only) are taken with the IZOG device, a custom-sewn fabric cuff that fits over the calf, using the knee and lower foot as fixed reference pints, to provide a rough index of deconditioning in zero-G and effectiveness of countermeasures. For determining body mass in zero-G, where things are weightless but not massless, the Russian IM "scales" measure the inertial forces that arise during the oscillatory motion of a mass driven by two helical metering springs with known spring constants. By measuring the time period of each oscillation of the unknown mass (the crewmember) and comparing it to the period of a known mass, the crewmember’s mass is calculated by the computer and displayed.]

Romanenko set up the equipment for his first session with the Russian experiment MBI-18 DYKHANIE (“Respiration”) and undertook the test, controlled from the RSE-Med laptop and supported by ground specialist tagup. Roman then closed down the hardware and stowed it. [Dykhanie-1 uses two body belts (PG-T/thoracic, PG-A/abdominal), a calibrator, resistor, mouthpiece, etc., to study fundamental physiological mechanisms of the external breathing function of crewmembers under long-duration orbital flight conditions. During the experiment, physiological measurements are taken and recorded with a pneumotachogram, a thoracic pneumogram, an abdominal pneumogram, and pressure data in the oral cavity. All experimentally derived plus salient environmental data along with personal data of the subject are recorded on PCMIA card for return to the ground at end of the Expedition. Objectives include determining the dynamics of the relationship between thoracic (pectoral) and abdominal breathing function reserves and their realization potential during spontaneous breathing, the coordinated spontaneous respiratory movements in terms of thoracic and abdominal components of volumetric, time & rate parameters of spontaneous respiratory cycle, identification of the features of humoral-reflex regulation of breathing by dynamics of ventilation sensitivity of thoracic and abdominal components to chemoreceptor stimuli, etc. Overall, the experiment is intended to provide a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of pulmonary respiration/gas exchange gravitational relations of cosmonauts.]

In the Lab, FE-2 worked on the EHS TOCA (Environmental Health System/Total Organic Carbon Analyzer) by completing the standard changeout of its WWB (Waste Water Bag, new bag: #1019).

Wakata also performed the periodic WPA (Water Processor Assembly) sample analysis in the TOCA, after first priming (filling) the TOCA water sample hose. After the approximately 2 hr TOCA analysis, results were transferred to SSC-7 (Station Support Computer 7) via USB drive for downlink, and the data were also logged for calldown. [The current procedure is a work-around for TOCA’s failed catalyst.]

Afterwards, Koichi conducted an audit of WRS (Water Recovery System) caps & plugs to determine their availability for the next WRS maintenance. [During the last few WRS maintenance activities there was significant confusion on where the right caps and plugs could be obtained, which is complicated by the need to keep any cap or plug that was used for TOX2 hoses separate. This activity audited the various bags of caps and plugs and combined the contents of any redundant bags.]

Later, FE-1 Barratt offloaded the WPA into one of the new CWC-I (Contingency Water Containers-Iodine, #1011) with the common H2O Transfer Hose (which took about 23 min) from the PWD (Potable Water Dispenser) Auxiliary Port, then flushed the system.

In the JAXA JPM (JEM Pressurized Module), Bob Thirsk completed the first (of three) setups of the FPEF (Fluid Physics Experiment Facility) for the planned MS (Marangoni Surface) experiment by transferring the MWA (Maintenance Work Area) to the JPM and attaching MS Core and MS Body to the MWA by using MWA IMF (Inflight Maintenance) tools. [FPEF MS assembly activities continue tomorrow and Thursday, in preparation of the upcoming Marangoni experiment in July. Bob will be supporting this activity.]

Wakata, Thirsk & DeWinne took the SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) through the planned operations steps as FMA (Force Moment Accommodation) checkout. [Today’s activities were OCRs (On-orbit Checkout Requirements) in preparation for HTV (H-2 Transfer Vehicle) capture. The SSRMS will later be returned to Node-2 by ground control for Flight 2J/A.]

Continuing the current round of monthly preventive maintenance of RS (Russian Segment) ventilation systems, CDR Padalka cleaned the four “Group B” fan screens (VT1, VTK1, VV1RO & VV2RO) in the SM (Service Module).

Mike Barratt performed troubleshooting of the AgCam (Agricultural Camera) software, transferring science data files for downlink and running diagnostics on the AgCam hardware. [The AgCam, currently nonfunctional, is a multi-spectral camera for use on the ISS as a payload of the WORF (Window Observational Research Facility). Primary AgCam system components include an Imaging System Assembly, a Base Mount Pointing Assembly, a Power/Data Controller, associated cabling and support items, and a NASA-supplied A31p laptop and power supply. It will take frequent images, in visible and infrared light, of vegetated areas on the Earth, principally of growing crops, rangeland, grasslands, forests, and wetlands in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Images will be delivered within 2 days directly to requesting farmers, ranchers, foresters, natural resource managers and tribal officials to help improve their environmental stewardship of the land for which they are responsible. Images will also be shared with educators for classroom use. The Agricultural Camera was built and is operated primarily by students and faculty at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.]

Barratt & Wakata worked on the ER4 (EXPRESS Rack 4) M1 drawer, troubleshooting it to free it and return it to a nominal state, using their own devices. [The ER4 M1 drawer is stuck. It is believed that something is keeping the drawer lid from closing completely and it is catching on the rack, preventing the drawer from sliding out. Previous crews have unsuccessfully attempted to open the drawer using a number of tools.]

DeWinne activated the ventilation system of the CB (Clean Bench) in the Kibo JPM and afterwards restored the CB to its “waiting” configuration. [The CB, a subrack of the Saibo (“living cell”) Rack, provides a germ-free environment for life science and biotechnological experiments. It has a specially designed microscope that operates with bright-field, phase-contrast and fluorescence modes.]

Roman had ~1.5 hrs set aside for the periodic RS window inspection & photography, today in the SM and DC1, using a tool kit with ruler, adhesive tape, 90-deg equilateral triangle & measuring tape, the NIKON D2 X digital camera with 28-70 mm lens, a flash attachment, and sketches of the windows under scrutiny (6, 7, 8, 9 in SM, plus the VP2 window in DC1) with previous detected flaws marked and flaw tables. [Purpose of the activity is to assess the condition of the window panes for deterioration as compared to the data from previous increments (appearance of new cavities, scratches, discolorations, or spots reducing transparency, or an increase in the size of old flaws), plus photography. Then images and data tables were stored on the RSK1 laptop for subsequent downlink via OCA.]

FE-1 Barratt set up, checked out and conducted his fourth test with the French/CNES neuroscientific research experiment “3D Space” (SAP) as Subject #3, using the ESA Multipurpose Laptop with a prepared HDD (Hard Disk Drive), data storage on a PCMCIA memory card, and an electronic pen table connected to it. (Third time done: 6/1). [3D Space, which involves distance, writing and illusion exercises, is designed to test the hypothesis that altered visual perception affects motor control. To do this, the subject is asked to reproduce shapes or text on an electronic pen pad (Wacom Intuos3 A4). The test person is asked to reproduce shapes or text on the pen tablet which allows researchers to record and analyze the reactions both on earth and in space.]

FE-5 DeWinne checked out the experiment InSPACE (Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions) in the MSG (Microgravity Science Glovebox), shaking the vials and looking for bubbles or any clumping of particles. [InSPACE obtains basic data on magnetorheological fluids, i.e., a new class of "smart materials" that can be used to improve or develop new brake systems, seat suspensions robotics, clutches, airplane landing gear, and vibration damper systems. The dispersed particles are contained in CAs (Coil Assemblies) in the MSG that subject them to electric fields of certain strength and frequencies.]

Gennady Padalka made preparations for using the MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 2) encoder for operating (i.e., providing Ethernet video stream) without the failed BRI (Smart Switch Router) by connecting it to a vacant WAP (Wireless Access Point; Russian: ABP) in the SM. [The activity involved reconfiguring the cable network, setting up the SSV-2 & SSC-3 laptops and conducting a test, followed by closeout.]

Continuing the extended leak integrity checking of the spare BZh Liquid Unit (#056) for the Elektron O2 generator, Gennady charged the unit once again with pressurized N2 from the BPA Nitrogen Purge Unit (#23) to 1 atm (1 kg/cm2). The last test pressurization test to monitor for leakage was on 6/16. [Objective of the monthly checkout of the BZh, which has been in stowage for about 2 years, is to check for leakage and good water passage through the feed line inside of the BZh (from ZL1 connector to the buffer tank) and to check the response of the Electronics Unit’s micro switches (signaling “Buffer Tank is Empty” & “Buffer Tank is Full”. During Elektron operation, the inert gas locked up in the BZh has the purpose to prevent dangerous O2/H2 mixing. A leaking BZh cannot be used.]

Barratt loaded a new software patch on the ELC-2 (ER-2 Laptop) for the SNFM (Serial Network Flow Monitor), intended to autocapture LAN science network-“bridged” data traffic. [After the load, ALTEA (Anomalous Long Term Effects on Astronauts) had to be deactivated and reactivated to re-establish communications with ELC-2.]

Mike then configured the ALTEA equipment for DOSI (Dosimetry) operations and activated data collection. [ALTEA DOSI is running continuously for radiation monitoring.]

In the US Airlock, FE-2 terminated the maintenance discharge of the #2076 EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) battery in the BC3 BSA (Battery Stowage Assembly) and initiated the process on battery #2069, using BC3 (Battery Charger 3). [The discharge will take approximately 23 hrs.]

Mike spent some time filling out the questionnaire for the Russian biomedical Braslet-M/Anketa ("bracelet/questionnaire") test procedure for IBMP, then transferred the data to the BSR-TM payload telemetry channel for downlinking. [The objective was for Mike to report on his use of a number of "bracelet" cuffs in suppressing the adverse effects of micro-G for the "newcomer" aboard the station during the acute phase of adaptation to weightlessness, if there are such indications. Questions pertained to actual use (if used at all, how long worn, Braslet tightness index, cuff adjustments, wearing method, etc. Dr. Valeriy Bogomolov’s "bracelets" are compression cuffs attached to a belt and worn on the upper thighs over the coveralls, intended as countermeasures against the initial micro-G effects of blood filling (vascularity) in the upper torso (heaviness and blood pulsation in the head), facial puffiness, nasal stuffiness, painful eye movement, and vestibular disorders (dizziness, nausea, vomiting). They create artificial blood accumulation in the upper thirds of the thighs, causing some of the circulating blood volume to relocate from the upper body to the lower extremities, thereby (hopefully) correcting the adverse hemodynamic effect of micro-G and thus improving the crewmember’s working capability. The actual compression cuff in the Braslet units is a combination of alternating multi-layer tensile and non-tensile elements, whose distension by body movements creates elastic forces that produce the necessary pressure on the body surface.]

FE-1 removed the alignment guides on the FCF (Fluids & Combustion Facility) in the CIR (Combustion Integrated Rack) in the Lab to allow PaRIS (Passive Rack Isolation System) activation for FCF operations requiring a microgravity environment.

Working off his discretionary “time permitting” task list, Roman did the daily IMS (Inventory Management System) maintenance, updating/editing its standard “delta file” including stowage locations, for the regular weekly automated export/import to its three databases on the ground (Houston, Moscow, Baikonur).

FE-3 also completed the routine daily servicing of the SOZh system (Environment Control & Life Support System, ECLSS) in the SM. [Regular daily SOZh maintenance consists, among else, of checking the ASU toilet facilities, replacement of the KTO & KBO solid waste containers and replacement of EDV-SV waste water and EDV-U urine containers.]

CDR, FE-3 & FE-4 had their periodic PMCs (Private Medical Conferences), via S- & Ku-band audio/video, Bob at ~10:15am, Gennady at ~11:20am & Roman at ~4:10am EDT.

The crew completed their regular daily 2.5-hr. physical workout program on the CEVIS cycle ergometer (FE-1, FE-4), TVIS treadmill with vibration isolation (CDR, FE-3, FE-5), RED resistive exercise device (FE-1, FE-2, FE-4, FE-5) and VELO cycle ergometer with bungee cord load trainer (CDR, FE-2, FE-3). [The interim RED is being used in lieu of the ARED (Advanced RED) until the latter has had its damaged VIS (Vibration Isolation System) dashpot replaced and can be put back in service.]

Later, Bob Thirsk transferred the exercise data file to the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer) for downlink, including the daily wristband HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) data of the workouts on ARED, followed by their erasure on the HRM storage medium (done six times a week).

At ~1:10pm EDT, the ISS crew joined in a PAO TV exchange with college-age students at the 2009 CSA ISU (International Space University) Summer Session at NASA Ames Research Center, headed by Marilyn Steinberg, Program Manager of CSA’s Space Learning Program.

CEO (Crew Earth Observation) photo targets uplinked for today were S. Mozambique (significant development of petroleum infrastructure is expected here over the next several years, and imagery documenting the current condition of the landscape is essential to tracking change over time. Looking to the right of track, overlapping context photography was requested), St. Paul Rocks Islets, Brazil (HMS Beagle Site: The HMS Beagle landed on St. Paul’s Rocks on February 16, 1832. In his notes Darwin puzzled about why these islands were located so far away from any continent. He correctly surmised that the islands were volcanic in nature. He also noted that the rocks of St. Paul had a "brilliantly white color". He discovered this was due to the dung of sea birds. Looking left of track for the islands of St Paul), and Serra da Cangalha Impact Crater, Brazil (this 12 km in diameter crater located in Brazil is a subtle feature on the landscape. It is mainly defined by a circular drainage pattern surrounding the remnants of a central peak. This crater was last photographed by the astronauts on the Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). Overlapping nadir frames, taken along track, were recommended in order to capture the crater.

CEO photography can be studied at this “Gateway” website: (as of 9/1/08, this database contained 770,668 views of the Earth from space, with 324,812 from the ISS alone).

Significant Events Ahead (all dates Eastern Time, some changes possible!):
07/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S relocation (from SM aft to DC1 nadir; 5:29pm – 5:54pm EDT)
07/11/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A launch – JEM EF, ELM-ES, ICC-VLD; (7:39am EDT)
07/12/09 — Progress 33P Re-rendezvous attempt (based on solar constraints)
07/13/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A docking (if launched nominally 7/11)
07/24/09 — Progress 34P launch
07/25/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A undocking
07/27/09 — STS-127/Endeavour/2J/A landing (KSC, ~12:16pm EDT)
07/29/09 — Progress 34P docking (would be able to dock as early as July 27 depending on STS-127)
08/18/09 — STS-128/Discovery/17A – MPLM (P), LMC (~4:25am EDT)
09/01/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) launch – tentative
09/07/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) berth
09/30/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S launch
10/02/09 — Soyuz TMA-16/20S docking (SM aft, until MRM-2 w/new port)
10/08/09 — H-IIB (JAXA HTV-1) unberth
10/11/09 — Soyuz TMA-14/18S undock
10/15/09 — Progress 35P launch
11/10/09 — 5R/MRM-2 (Russian Mini Research Module 2) on Soyuz-U
11/12/09 — STS-129/Atlantis/ULF3 – ELC1, ELC2
12/07/09 — Soyuz TMA-17/21S launch
12/26/09 — Progress 36P launch
02/03/10 — Progress 37P launch
02/04/10 — STS-130/Endeavour/20A – Node-3 + Cupola
03/18/10 — STS-131/Discovery/19A – MPLM(P), LMC
04/02/10 — Soyuz TMA-18/22S launch
04/27/10 — Progress 38P launch
05/14/10 — STS-132/Atlantis/ULF4 – ICC-VLD, MRM-1
05/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-19/23S launch
06/25/10 — Progress 39P launch
07/29/10 — STS-133/Endeavour/ULF5 – ELC4, MPLM
08/11/10 — Progress 40P launch
09/16/10 — STS-134/Discovery/ULF6 – ELC3, AMS
09/29/10 — Soyuz TMA-20/24S launch
10/19/10 — Progress 41P launch
11/??/10 — ATV2 – Ariane 5 (ESA)
12/??/11 — 3R Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) w/ERA – on Proton

SpaceRef staff editor.